These biscotti are not the result of any brain storming or pre-planning; they are the outcome of refrigerator rummaging and cleaning which we all do from time to time. There is no denying here that I had long time back seen a cheese biscotti and the memory of it was lingering and holding itself in some corner of my mind beckoning me to try it for myself.
So out came the left over sun dried tomatoes that I had used for making this pesto, a few sprigs of rosemary that I had used to make grilled lamb and some left over cottage cheese that I had used for making an Indian dessert. Perfect! I thought. I could use all three to good use…together. The cheese biscotti emerged from the memory and the idea of savory biscotti began to take shape. I love my desserts and other sweet things but I am more of a savory loving person.
So the trial began. I had made chocolate and roasted almonds biscotti last year to give it away as gifts for Diwalito friends along with other homemade goodies. Savory biscuits, savory shortbread/cookies and even a few Indian savory cakes are something I love to the core. I can hog on them! However, the store brought ones are loaded with salt which is the reason I don’t really hog on them J
For those not familiar with biscotti, these are biscuits/cookies (suit yourself) that are twice baked. This makes them dry and crunchy hence they can be stored for longer period and this makes them ideal for journey. The traditional recipes did not use any sort of raising agent or fat such as butter, milk, oil, butter milk etc giving the biscotti an even drier and harder texture.
They are great accompaniments for tea, coffee, soups and even wine! Dunk them in if you wish to. Biscotti will remind you of the rusk that is quite similar and very popular in India. Those ones have fennel and cardamom seeds. I remember dunking them in the milk and enjoying them as a kid; I still love doing that actually.
A friend recently couriered to me a bottle of green and pink pepper corns that she procured from a friend who is in US and I thought of using them instead of the black pepper. Thanks a ton Priya and thanks Mrs Ashokan for your warm gesture. It is really appreciated J
¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pink pepper (feel free to use black pepper instead)
¼ – ½ tsp garlic powder (optional)
1/3 cup milk (i used buttermilk)
¾ cup walnuts (roughly chopped)
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C.
Whisk together the APF, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pink pepper, garlic powder. Add in the crumbled paneer and butter (i used refrigerated butter and shredded it).
Mix everything together very lightly with hands. Mix in the nuts, tomatoes and rosemary.
In a separate bowl, lightly whisk eggs and butter milk. Add this to the dry mix. Make a dough till everything comes together (Don’t knead).
Divide the dough in two halves and shape it into a log sized approx 11 X 3.5 inches and a little over half an inch thick. (the size totally depends on how much wide and thick you want the biscottis)
Arrange the logs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the logs rest for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the log on a cutting board.
Using a serrated knife, slice diagonally the logs in 1 cm thickness. Arrange all the pieces back on the baking sheet and bake for 10-20 minutes. (It is usually adviced to reduce the oven temperature for baking the biscottis but mine were not getting crisp so I kept the temp at 180)
Ensure that half way through you check the biscottis for done-ness and turn them over so both sides are golden and crisp. Cool and store in an air tight container.
Chuck those bread sticks for a while and enjoy your favorite soup with this biscotti or enjoy it with your cuppa tea/coffee!
Makes 2 dozen
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